Whitewater Park Maintenance and McKay Park River Access

166 Southwest Shevlin Hixon Drive, Bend, OR, United States

Project Phase


Project Overview

Completed in 2016, the Bend Whitewater Park is now due for review and maintenance. The first phase of this project will use survey and engineering analysis to compare the current functions of the park with the original design intent. Once the reports are complete, the district will determine a scope of work for a project to update and improve the whitewater park features.

The project also includes improving river access for all users at McKay Park. The preferred concept design was completed and approved by the board of directors in 2023 under the McKay, Miller’s, and Columbia Park River Access project.

Funding for the construction of the McKay River Access portion of this project is from the Central Oregon Future Fund, an annual grant program managed by Visit Central Oregon and from the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB)

166 Southwest Shevlin Hixon Drive

$2 million

Property taxes and grant funding (Future Fund and OSMB)

Spring 2027

Contact Information

For more information on the Whitewater Park Maintenance and McKay Park River Access, please contact

Ian Isaacson
Landscape Architect

What is the scope of the project?

The scope of work is not yet finalized. The Bend Whitewater Park Maintenance Project will begin with a comprehensive engineering analysis to assess the current state of the park’s features related to the original design goals. An evaluation based on the analysis will follow, leading to recommendations for potential improvements. Upon receiving engineering insights, detailed plans and cost estimates will be developed for the necessary work, with the implementation of these plans being contingent on the approval of the engineering recommendations.

What will the consultant produce in the analysis?

The contracted consultant will produce a detailed report to document current conditions, analyze functionality based on comparing original design considerations with current conditions (based on new seasonal water levels required by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services’ Deschutes River Basin Habitat Conservation Plan), and provide recommendations for any maintenance, improvements, repairs, or replacements to align with project objectives.

Will the wave features be redesigned?

No, redesigning the whitewater park is not part of this first phase of this project. This is an assessment of how it functions related to its original design and if there are improvements that are appropriate.

What groups and individuals are involved in addition to BPRD staff?

Representatives from Bend Paddle Trail Alliance (BPTA) have been instrumental in the whitewater park since it was a conceptual idea and continue to be. They are aware of the improvement project and will continue to be informed as it progresses through this first phase.

Why is the project happening now?

Since its opening in fall 2015, the Bend Whitewater Park has been an important recreational hub in Central Oregon. It has undergone adjustments and improvements to enhance the safety and experience of its users. “Taking care of what we have” is a principle of BPRD. As the park sees hundreds of thousands of users annually, it has become an essential asset, invigorating the community and contributing significantly to the local economy and the social fabric of Bend. To maintain the high standards set by its frequent use and importance, a maintenance project is being undertaken, now that the amenity has been in use for a decade.

When will work occur?

Timing for work will be fine-tuned based on the analysis to inform the scope of work and if it will be completed at once or with a phased approach. Timing is expected in the next 1-3 years.

How will the project affect use of the whitewater channel and/or the fish ladder?

This isn’t yet known. Our initial goal is to assess the current state of the park’s features related to the original design goals. This first-of-its-kind amenity is unique and we have nine years of use to evaluate related to the original plans and modifications and maintenance that have occurred. Our goal is to continue to have the whitewater park function well for all user groups, including fish.

What is the cost of the project?

The current total project budget is $1.3 million, but that amount is expected to be adjusted based on the findings of the report and direction provided by the BPRD Board of Directors.  The final project budget will include costs for data collection, analysis, design, permitting, construction services and administration, construction and other costs.

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